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Publisher's Summary

Here is a refreshing look at how American cities are leading the way toward greener, cleaner, and more sustainable forms of economic development.

In Emerald Cities, Joan Fitzgerald shows how in the absence of a comprehensive national policy, cities like Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle have taken the lead in addressing the interrelated environmental problems of global warming, pollution, energy dependence, and social justice. Cities are major sources of pollution but because of their population density, reliance on public transportation, and other factors, Fitzgerald argues that they are uniquely suited to promote and benefit from green economic development. For cities facing worsening budget constraints, investing in high-paying green jobs in renewable energy technology, construction, manufacturing, recycling, and other fields will solve two problems at once, sparking economic growth while at the same time dramatically improving quality of life. Fitzgerald also examines how investing in green research and technology may help to revitalize older industrial cities and offers examples of cities that don't make the top-ten green lists such as Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio and Syracuse, New York. And for cities wishing to emulate those already engaged in developing greener economic practices, Fitzgerald shows which strategies will be most effective according to each city's size, economic history, geography, and other unique circumstances. But cities cannot act alone, and Fitzgerald analyzes the role of state and national government policy in helping cities create the next wave of clean technology growth.

Lucid, forward-looking, and guided by a level-headed optimism that clearly distinguishes between genuine progress and exaggerated claims, Emerald Cities points the way toward a sustainable future for the American city.

©2010 Joan Fitzgerald (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Fitzgerald, an urban planner, delivers informative accounts of contemporary trends, closing with an exhortation for national planning to mature green technologies." ( Booklist)
" Emerald Cities is definitely a must read....a nuanced and fair-minded study of urban sustainability and economic development." ( Sustainability)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • St. Louis, MO, United States
  • 06-07-11

Informative, encyclopedic and very dry.

This is a textbook on sustainability and economic development and many who are interested in either topic or the confluence of both should read this book. Alas, it is rather dry and formulaic, at least the audiobook format, so hard to synthesize or to follow chain of ideas. Otherwise, though, this is a most important book and I'm glad to have listened to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfection!

great book and resource...It was literally perfect. there is an abundance of information from this book that I will be able to use personally to get involved

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bobby
  • Novato, CA, United States
  • 03-26-13

A good review of a quickly evolving subject

What did you like best about Emerald Cities? What did you like least?

Excellent survey of policies and project that are linking sustainability efforts with economic development (and vice-versa). However, the book descriptive rather than prescriptive and most policies are incremental changes versus truly intersectional ideas.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Non sequitur, full of propaganda, some interesting

What would have made Emerald Cities better?

I sounded like an rambling pseudo fact filled superficial rationale for a not very well justified political agenda. The author seems to believe that the process that is culpable of the problem will solve the problem. She seems to be in love with Obama. The books big ideas just feel shallow as she seems to try and impress with a litany of stories and unsubstantiated facts.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

deeper, more thought out. less propaganda

Any additional comments?

I realize this is a grand topic and difficult to tackle....but what could have been a fantastic book falls flat tripping over itself.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful